This book draws on a half century of efforts (1960s to the present) to forge a consensus that early education is a public responsibility in the United States. While that consensus has not yet been achieved, recent progress provides a platform for identifying new strategies, based on lessons learned. Transforming the American primary school, starting with threes and fours and ending at age ten (PreK-5) is the focusof First Things First. This book calls attention to the relative neglect of primary or elementary education in the recurring waves of education reform that have targeted middle and high schools. First Things First also points to the chaos generated when PreK is added onto the K-12 grades without attention to its ramifications for the later grades, especially Kindergarten. The book will also briefly address what should happen before PreK (Birth to Three) and after Grade 5, including middle and high school reform, to position the new primary school in an educational enterprise that is committed to life-long learning.
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